As a proud public-school mother of two, Elizabeth knows that all parents want their kids to get the best education in a school that helps them achieve their maximum potential, ideally in their neighborhood. It’s a goal that every parent is willing to fight to achieve.
Elizabeth will continue to fight back against the city’s ill-advised agenda against gifted and talented programs and specialized high schools. The mayor has created a divisive system in which certain students, or groups of students, are viewed as winners and other groups are seen as losers. Our elected officials should bring our communities together – not divide us.
Instead of implementing the mayor’s radical agenda, Elizabeth will celebrate and fight to expand these programs to reward our most promising students, all while protecting the SHSAT. Elizabeth believes in the research that shows that gifted and talented programs challenge our brightest students and put them on a path to success.
Giftedness has been shown to be equally distributed among racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds, but the programs in our schools are not diverse. Elizabeth will fight to ensure that the DOE finds gifted students in all of our neighborhoods and provide them with an educational program that allows them to reach their potential. And at a school that is down the street from their homes.
Elizabeth will work to fix the pervasive overcrowding epidemic in our public schools. When she was first elected to the New York City Council, Elizabeth represented the most overcrowded school district in the city. Over the course of her tenure, she fought to expand classrooms and succeeded: Elizabeth added 6,000 extra public-school seats, and her district no longer has the most overcrowded classrooms as a result. She will bring this mentality to fight for our entire borough.
Beyond overcrowding, there is considerably more that needs to be accomplished. As a borough, Queens receives nearly $2,000 less funding from the city and state than the city average. This and our schools’ building utilization exceeding 105% are recipes for disaster.
In Jamaica, the Rockaways, Corona, Flushing, and throughout Queens, our public schools are being forced to decide whether they want to keep the library, art room, or physical education program. Elizabeth believes we need all of them – and she will take on special interests and whoever occupies the mayor’s mansion to fight Queens’ fair share of education funding. With the loss of a full year of education, coupled with the systemic educational issues in our borough, Elizabeth knows we cannot afford to continue to be shortchanged by the city and state.